Thursday, June 25, 2015

Off to San Francisco!



I'm off to the annual American Library Association Conference today!  For conference news, updates, and insight, be sure to follow the ALSC Blog.  I (and many other ALSC members) will be live blogging from the conference on the ALSC Blog.  If you prefer, follow the hashtag #alaac15 on Twitter.

Cheers!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Great Websites for Kids

If you're looking for useful, fun, or educational websites to share with your children, students, or library patrons, I urge you to check out Great Websites for Kids,
 sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA).
Image from http://opencliart.org

Sites chosen for inclusion on Great Websites for Kids are curated and maintained by the Great Websites for Kids Committee.  Sites are searchable by eight main classifications (AnimalsThe ArtsHistory & BiographyLiterature & LanguagesMathematics & ComputersReference DeskSciences, and Social Sciences) or by keyword.


If you have a suggestion for a great site, you can submit it from the "Suggest a Site" link on the Great Websites for Kids page.


Monday, June 15, 2015

Cody and the Fountain of Happiness - a review

I don't review many early chapter books, but I requested this one from LibraryThing Early Reviewers. because it's published by Candlewick Press (always a plus), and Eliza Wheeler's cover illustration sealed the deal.

Cody and the Fountain of Happiness by Tricia Springstubb.  Candlewick Press, 2015.  Illustrations by Eliza Wheeler.

Here's why I like Cody and the Fountain of Happiness:
  • Cody's an average kid - Mom works in a shoe store, Dad's a truck driver, she argues with her older brother Wyatt, though it's clear that they love each other.
  • Cody is positive and decisive.
  • Her new found friend, Spencer, is an African-American boy with a super hip grandma. (The percentage of African American characters in early chapter books is rather slim, so this is a plus.)
  • Cody's mom and dad are positive role models.
  • Eliza Wheeler's illustrations are simple, soft, and expressive.
  • Spoiler alert! Mom gets a promotion at the shoe store. 

Here's an excerpt.  Cody is waking her brother on their first day of summer vacation and refuses to be daunted by his grumpy mood.

     "Want to go to the dog park and pick what dog we'd get if only we were allowed to get a dog?"
     Wyatt put his hands over his eyes.
     "No?" said Cody.  "How about we look for rocks and have a rock stand and use the money to buy a skateboard?"
     Wyatt slowly got to his feet.  He was very tall and skinny.  If he were a building, he'd be a skyscraper, but a droopy one.
     "Silencio," he said.  He toppled back into bed and pulled the covers over his head.  "You are causing me pain.  A big fat pain in my cerebral cortex."
     "Do you want some tea?"
     "No, Brain Pain. I want you to disappear.  Preferably forever."
     "I can't," said Cody.  "I promised Mom to take care of you.  I never break a promise."

Give Cody a try.  Though you may wonder about her peculiar fondness for ants, I think you'll like her, her family, and her friends!


My Advance Reader Copy is 151 illustrated pages.




Monday, June 8, 2015

Picture Book Roundup - June 2015 edition

Enjoy a slide show version of this month's picture book roundup - a sampling of my new favorites!
 If the slide show doesn't work for you, I've listed the books below with links to my reviews on LibraryThing.